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In a bid to meet growing domestic energy demand, Qatar is getting ready to start operations at its US$10-billion Barzan gas project this November, which will increase the country’s daily gas output by up to 2 billion cubic feet once capacity is reached in 2017, Reuters reports, citing two sources in the know.
Qatar’s huge infrastructure investments ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and its expansion of the civil aviation industry have spurred energy demand, and the country’s demand for refined oil products has more than doubled in the past five years.
The project is a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), which committed to developing the Barzan offshore platform in the North Field in 2011. Plans call for much of the production to go to the power and water sector.
While Qatar is trying to increase domestic supply, it is the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world, according to data by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
In the first half this year, Qatar saw its LNG exports to South Asia and the rest of the Middle East soar.
Currently, Qatar has a self-imposed moratorium on new projects in the North Field in order to seek sustainability in output in the long run, and according to the EIA, the Barzan project is the only potential for a near-term increase in natural gas production. The Bazran project was the last North Field project approved prior to the moratorium.
In its International Energy Outlook 2016 from May this year, the EIA said that Qatar was expected to continue to be the world’s number-one LNG spot and long-term supplier until the end of this decade, with the U.S. and Australia seen closing the gap.
Still, Qatar has decided to extend the moratorium on the development of the rest of the North Field, and no new projects are expected until 2020 or later.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.